Only a few more days left in NJ. I have to admit, this has been one of best months of my life because it’s made me reappreciate the preciousness of simply being alive. I have seen so many family members and friends that I cannot count them all. I’ve enjoyed wonderful heart to heart talks and seen so many amazing miracles before my very eyes. God keeps opening my eyes each and every day to see how blessed I am to be alive. I also see the deep value of making people your number one priority in life (after God, of course). I never realized just how many people I know until I try to cram visits with all of them in the span of four weeks. I have also cried a lot on this trip as I continue to mourn the loss of my dad as I once knew him. I really miss my dad even though he’s still alive. The person I know now is a shell of the vibrant, chatty, thoughtful, caring dad I knew and it causes me unceasing grief in my soul. Yet, at the same time I find great comfort in simply having God as my father and friend who cares. Just knowing that He understands my pain is the richest source of comfort beyond anything I could express with words. I don’t know how people get through this kind of stuff without God.

Here are some “miracles” on this trip, although it’s hard to see them as miracles unless you look hard enough:

1) holding the child of an old friend who waited two years to adopt her precious baby boy

2) holding two children who were born after their mother had miscarriage after miscarriage and thought she’d never have her own children…I recalled visiting her the day after her third miscarriage and wept with her at her side.

3) hearing my grandma laugh. She had a stroke a few years ago and is a shell of her former self but her laugh is still the same. Just hearing it makes me cry and remember what she used to be like.

4) Soooo many pregnant friends – it’s fun touching their tummies and knowing there’s a precious life growing inside!

5) waking up every morning  and wondering what amazing conversation I’ll have that day. It’s been rough trying to see a ton of people in a short time but it’s exciting, too, because I love being around people and having good talks that last for hours and hours (in various languages, too).

6) life as a wife – everyone who’s met Matthias loves him. I am thankful for that. It’s always weird realizing I am married now and it’s not just me anymore. I love having him at my side and he seems to love my friends as much as I do!

7) hearing my dad say he loves me. It always makes me tear up. He is so weak and frail now and cannot even get up without help. I think that having elderly parents makes you really think about life and death all the time, every day, wondering if this could be their last on this earth. I count this as a blessing lest I be tempted to forget this verse: “So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12